Sunday, December 30, 2007

Filling in the details

So, before the date went sour, here's how the evening went.

One of my dear old friends and I had lunch with dear Greg on Saturday. That's when I had an inkling of something amiss. He spotted me before I saw him, so that when I looked up, he was already smiling at me. But his presence was short-lived. His mood suddenly shifted and he had to leave. I promised to be back and see him later.

I spent the afternoon shopping with my friend and her daughter, who was shopping for a New Year's outfit. We had a delightful time, then we headed to Greg's restaurant for some dinner. He intercepted us at the door again, and took us to a table. His mood was obviously improved, but still had an edge of stress. "I'll tell you what happened in a moment," he whispered to me, then took drink orders.

My friend's daughter ordered water without lemon. "She's going to get scurvy," he said to me. While my friend laughed and the daughter learned what scurvy was, he held menus to shield what he said to me.

"Are you free later? I can get out of here in about an hour." I nodded and he was very happy.

When he returned with drinks, he leaned on the table and gave us the story from the afternoon. During his busy afternoon shift, and one he desperately needed, his ex called and decided to unload his young son on him. So, the tips he'd made early in the day now went for additional babysitting expenses. He was working his ass off, and the tips still sucked that night.

"And now I have this huge migraine," he said. I offered pain reliever. "Won't help," he said. "But thanks anyhow." And he was off to other tables.

In the meantime, I dug daytime cold medicine (of the non-sleepy variety) out for my own battle with a sinus headache. As I talked with my friends, I fought with the blister-pack. Damn thing wouldn't open. A moment later, Greg's hand reached in front of me.

"Give it to me," he said. "I'll take it."
"I can't get it open," I said.
He nodded. "It's okay. I'll get it."

"That was sweet," said my friend. Then we chatted and waited for my meds to come back. Greg passed us a couple of times, but no meds. Then, it dawned on me. He said "I'll take it." He thought I was getting out pain reliever for him, anyhow. He took my cold meds.

My friend laughed. "He thought you were taking care of him," she gushed. "How sweet!" I got out more cold meds and managed to open this one myself. He wasn't the wiser, and maybe it helped.

My friend's daughter asked to see his Robot. The table next to us goaded him into his rendition of Riverdance. Then, they stiffed him on a tip. He was pissed.

However, the little pleasure I enjoyed happened each time he leaned on our table to talk. He'd swoop in, elbows on the table, talking rapidly, but making sure his shoulder leaned into mine, his body close.

Soon, we were finished, and we started to leave. I told him quietly that I'd be back, to wait for his shift to be over. He said he should be done soon, then we'd have our time together.

But you know how that ended. The world fell apart for him again, and it was not to be. I just hope to see him one more time before going.

Saturday, December 29, 2007


It's just not fair.

This evening, he was as attentive as ever. Maybe more so. However, his day had fallen apart, and his evening followed suit.

His ex had a freakout, deciding his son should stay with him Saturday. Until Sunday afternoon. She decided this mid-afternoon on Saturday. He scrambled for childcare, during a quick break during work. A migraine resulted.

Will I ever see him again? I don't know. Already, I miss his eyes. Beautiful blue. Sweet smile. Sometime, I'll write the memories, but it's a tad bittersweet at the moment. I'll see him in my dreams.

Flirty fun

When I picked up my daughter from her dad's last night, she hadn't had dinner. I told her to pick anywhere she wanted to go. To my absolute delight, she picked waiter Greg's place of employment. (Seriously - with no intervention from me!)

We walked in and I asked if he had a table available. The hostess smiled and started to lead us, but then reached past hand the menus to Greg. He's smiling and seats us.

He jumped into a conversation we'd had earlier, as though it hadn't ended. He had been lamenting having rent due and being plagued with low tippers all week. "So get this," he says, leaning on the table. "I had this big table and one guy said he'd pay for the whole thing. An $89 ticket. He leaves me two bucks, after saying what a great job I did."

"That really sucks," I said.

Then he turned to my daughter and said, "So how's it going? How's Riverdance-line-dancing, Irish whatever it is?" I'd told him about her talent for Irish dancing, and he knew I'd gone to see an Irish band last night.

She giggles. She thinks he's cute, and his rapid-fire manner of speaking cracks her up. "You mean Irish dancing? It's fine. But I didn't go hear the band," she says. "I've been at my dad's."

He scurries away to get our drinks. "He's funny, Mom," she says. "I think he really likes you."

"I think so, too." We consult our menus. He brings drinks, tosses straws at my daughter, and is away again.

Soon, he's leaning on the table again. He gestures to a table of young women, obviously celebrating the birthday of a girl wearing a crown and sequined dress. "They've been here almost two hours. I have another table that's been here three hours." I know what he's saying. He needs to turn tables quickly. He's at the end of his shift (we were his last table), and the last few customers just camp out.

Personally, when I do something like that, I compensate the waiter for lost tips from customers who would have occupied my seat. But most people don't think of that. And he doesn't realize that I'm in a unique position at the moment of being able to help that situation.... I make note to be generous on his tip from us.

He notices my daughter's unwrapped straw on the table. "So, what's the deal," he says with mock haughtiness. "Too good for my straw?" She giggles, then shrugs. "Commie," he says and scurries away again. I have to explain the term "commie," but she still thinks it's funny. I pick up the wrapped straw and drop it into an empty soda glass, where it starts soaking up melted ice.

"I'm telling him that was your idea," she said. He walks by and without slowing or glancing at us, snags the straw and flips it across the table.

"She did that," she tattles later. He looks at me with mock hurt, saying how mean I am.

He stops (very briefly) to chat several times. My daughter says, "I wonder what his schedule is here? Help a table, see you, help another table, see you...."

I found out that dear waiter Greg is a cat person. "What's your cat's name," I ask. He gives me a funny look. "K.B." I ask the inevitable question, "And that stands for....?"

The funny look deepens. "Kitty Butt." My daughter breaks into laughter. "I know, I'm sorry. It's all I could come up with at the time." And he's off again.

"Desserts?" he asks, later. My daughter says no. He looks at me and says, "You had a dessert earlier and you're being mean. You're cut off." I widen my eyes and look up at him. He melts, "I don't mean it. You can have whatever you want!"

He leans to my daughter conspiratorially, "I'm secretly hitting on your mom." And he's away again.

She dissolves into hysterics. "That's just weird! 'Hitting on' and ' your mom' shouldn't be in the same sentence!"

He brings the ticket, and says he'll see us again soon. From behind my daughter, be pantomimes, "Especially you!" And he's gone. I leave a very generous tip, and we make our exit before he sees it.

I'm supposed to go hang out there again this afternoon, when things are a little slower. My daughter has decided to spend our last night here with her dad, to squeeze out a little more time with him. Greg has asked if I am free each night since meeting, and tonight I am. We'll see how it goes.

Then, it's back home, and back to reality.

Friday, December 28, 2007

"Just put me in the trunk..."

"...and throw me some food now and then," he said. He was leaning on my table again, begging me to take him back to Colorado with me.

"Believe me," I said, keeping my voice low. "I'd love to take you back with me, if I could. But the airline might object."

"Ah, you didn't drive here. Damn."

This was an all-day theme, him wanting to return to Colorado with me.

He leaned in and whispered. "Then again, what good am I to you in Colorado if I can't last more than a minute?"

Oh, but I get ahead of myself....

We'd made a breakfast date, but would have less than an hour before he had to be at work. "What would you like?" he asked. "And no request is too small! I can Riverdance and do the Robot, so ask for anything."

I grinned a devilish grin, and he chuckled back at me. We ate muffins and chatted, exchanging innuendos. To be honest, dear diary, I have never been an effective flirt. Until this week. For some reason, it flows naturally with this guy.

His kiss is sweet, but urgent. It's like he can feel the clock ticking until I'm gone, and he has too much to communicate at once. Time is of the essence to him.

I let him walk me to my room. He is taller than me. Broad-shouldered. A tattoo on each arm - emblems for Batman and the Green Lantern. Strong arms, which makes a strong embrace.
He nuzzles my neck, inhales the scent in my hair. "Do you want me," he whispers into my ear, but doesn't wait for my answer. "I've wanted you since I saw you."

My answer is clear, but time is short. His urgency is overpowering. He tries to contain it, but I assure him, it's all right. Later, leaning on my table, he apologizes. "It's not fair," he laments. "You're just too effing hot."

I just laugh, and blush. That's not a term I'm accustomed to hearing about myself. He laughs, too, and gives me an affectionate nudge before his boss can see him being too familiar with the customers. I need to clue him in that I've covered his ass already, saying I already know him from his Colorado days.

We'll try to meet again tomorrow.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


....only Thursday. All of a sudden, the week is moving too fast for me. I need a couple more days.

I spent today catching up with former co-workers who remain steadfast friends. Lunch was with a very outspoken Hispanic lady, with loads to say about my former employers. Dang, I'm glad I'm not caught in that political nightmare right now. The division is becoming a college, within the university system. Therefore, the hunt is on for a Dean. Heaven help them, but they need a miracle to attract a good candidate.

Then, I met a programmer friend for dessert. Guess where he wanted to meet? Yep, the chain restaurant where dear waiter Greg works. We sat in the bar, since we'd be there for a few hours, catching up. The bartender said my favorite waiter was not working today, for a change. He apparently works a lot. So, we settled in to our desserts and drinks, and talked techno-shop about our respective offices.

A couple of hours later, I was knee-deep in discussion about the need to have system upgrades on a routine schedule, to minimize inconvenient server downtime, when I felt a pat on my shoulder. The patter kept walking so I turned to see who it was....and was met with a wave and grin from dear Greg.

"Hey, you!" I said with a wide smile and a wave, as he glided out of sight. The bartender had been delightfully mistaken. I laughed and turned back to my friend's surprised face.

"Do you see someone you know everywhere you go?" he asked. I gave him the
Reader's Digest Condensed Version of my acquaintance with Greg. This gave him a chuckle. He'd been present in Utah, to see my acquaintance with South Carolina, too (although he didn't realize the extent of that acquaintance).

We continued our techno-babble conversation, for over an hour. I'd look up frequently to track Greg's activity around the restaurant. He was watching mine, too. Several times, I caught his eye as he glanced my way. I wondered if he thought this was a date. I wondered if he'd take the chance to chat, if given it.

Soon, my friend had to go, and I had to return yet another call from my mother (who is bored without me, it seems). I sat at the table alone. I checked the time. I needed to pick up my daughter in 30 minutes. I wouldn't stay put for long.

I looked up, and saw Greg notice I was alone. He chatted with other employees as he moved, making his way to me. He leaned on my table, looking at the TV above us and asking questions about the news. Being someone who doesn't watch much news, I muddled my way through, wondering if this was really at all interesting to him.

He turned to me abruptly and gestured to my friend's empty chair. "So, who was this, then?" he asked, pointedly. The news hadn't interested him, but my friend did. Dear waiter Greg was jealous.

"A programmer I used to work with," I said. "We were catching up on office gossip."

"Oh," he said, with a grin. He visibly relaxed. He moved closer to me. "How long are you here?"

"I pick up my daughter at 6:30."

He looked crestfallen. "So, not long then. Can I call you when I get off?"

"Yes, but she'll be with me."

"Hm. I work 11 to 11 tomorrow."

"I take her to her dad's at 8:30," I offered. "Want to call me in the morning? We could do something before you go to work."

He nodded. "That's good. I'll see you in the morning, then." And he was off to attend to his duties. With a smile.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happiness is Lubbock, Texas.... my rearview mirror.

Anyone remember that song, by native son Mac Davis? I'm in a hotel here now, overlooking the statue of favorite son Buddy Holly. We got here late (very late) Sunday night. Weather reports caused us to leave home a day early and head for the airport in Denver, which is The Most Difficult Airport Ever. For the modern marvel it is supposed to be, it sure is a pain in the ass to navigate. Pretty to look at, but pain in the keister., just past Vail, Colorado, the temperature gauge is reading 2 degrees outside, the snow is blowing, and the fog inside the windows has turned to ice. Yep, ice inside the car. I'm still amazed.

To make a long day short, travel went smoothly. The rental car I got in Amarillo is a Toyota Prius. So far, pretty dang nifty! Getting used to the push-button start and all. Don't like being that low to the ground, but it's still fun.

So far, I've avoided seeing the Wicked Witch who is so mean to my child. My ex has taken my advice and kept them out of one-on-one situations. My daughter texted me in tears the first night, just over the stress of being there. She knew she had to hang on through Christmas, then her dad might relent and let her stay with me at night. Christmas Eve, I get this text from her:

"Merry Christmas, Mommy. I'm sorry u r alone, but know I'm with u. U can text me anytime u need comfort."

Hear that sound? It's a Mommy melting. I know adolescence is likely to change some of that sweetness, but for now I'll cling to all I can get.

My daughter's former Irish dance teacher and her husband are dear friends. Even though he wants to subpoena me in that case against the university. Once he figured out that I was "free-floating" for Christmas, he was besides himself to include me in their family Christmas dinner. I'll go to a good ol' Irish pub session with them Friday night, too. Good friends, good music. Great night.

I'm still piecing together things to do with friends. Dinner here, lunch there. Lunch was on my own today, though. I have a list of Restaurants I Miss, so I headed to one of those this afternoon. The place was next to empty, mid-afternoon on the Biggest Return Day of the year. A tall waiter met me at the door, with the usual, "How many?" Just me, I said, and he led me to a table. I thought his indifference was palpable. He took my drink order and disappeared. His name was Greg.

I called one of my friends to set up lunch for tomorrow. We chatted about work and what's new. Drinks came, and I ordered. My friend and I chatted some more. Greg came back and leaned on the booth. "Who is it?" he said, indicating the phone. "Do they know they are infringing on our alone time?"

I lifted a brow at him. So, maybe he wasn't so indifferent.

I told my friend what he said, with him standing there, and she laughed. She told me to go flirt and we'll meet tomorrow. I put down the phone and explained I was a Texas transplant, visiting "home" from Colorado. Turns out, he recently moved here from Colorado. And wants to go back.

"Take me with you," he said. "Please?" I laughed, but he was only half joking. He left to take care of customers, but stopped at my booth often. We talked about what brought me to Lubbock, Texas for Christmas and about being alone for Christmas (he had Chinese take-out for Christmas dinner).

"So where's your significant other?" he asked. I don't have one, I said. He smiled. "What was that room number?" I laughed. He wasn't kidding.

"I'd have to know you a heck of a lot better for that," I said. He left again. When he stopped to visit, he told me about his parents (or lack of relationship with them) and his background.

"See? I have a brain," he said. "And I'm not some kid out here. I'm almost 30." He started to leave again, but added, "Am I helping my case any?" I nodded, and he was off again.

Next time he stopped, he said quietly, "We're not supposed to hit on customers, so I'm not officially hitting on you." I nodded. He smiled, and said more quietly, "But I couldn't let you walk out of here without getting to talk to you. You're too pretty. I'd just like to hang out with you."

Sappy as it is, I did give him my cell number. He called during his break, and met me for five minutes in the hotel lobby. We chatted and he apologized for having to go so soon. Then, he surprised me, catching me up in his arms and a passionate kiss. "I've wanted to do that since you walked in today."

And that's how I ended up with a date for Christmas break.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Words of Wisdom

Well, almost.

From my 16-year-old son, in answer to my question as to why he's not asking to get his driver's license, given that we have an "extra" car for him to drive.

"I see a car as just another girlfriend, draining my money."

I jsut had to make sure that was written down.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


We have snow!

Oh, I know what you're thinking. "Blogget, dear, you live in Colorado. Of course you have snow." Well, apparently, it's not that easy when you're in the corner of Colorado that's a "high desert," where it's a little drier than the rest of the state.

Even my friends in Texas had snow sooner than we did.

So here's my winter wonderland! I tried to get the same shot as I used for the fall colors.

And this is just pretty....

Blogget is a happy snow bunny!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

My Murphy's Law

Have you ever had someone in your life who you just can't help effing up in front of?

I think South Carolina is that person for me. First, it was the message his assistant intercepted. Now, it's an impulsive phone call I made.

Next time a guy criticizes me for not being spontaneous enough, I'll cite this story.

So, I mentioned that SC texted me about being bored beyond belief at his conference. And he had two more days of it. I was running kids here and there yesterday and got bored. I looked at the clock. It was late enough that SC's conference sessions should have been done, so I decided to give him a call and check his boredom level.

It rang, and rang, and rang. Where the hell was the voice mail? I had a cute message in mind, too. Then, he answered, in a hushed tone. I almost couldn't tell it was him.

"SC?" I said.
"Hello?" he said.
"Hi!" I said.
"Hello?" he said.
I furrowed my brow. Was the connection bad? "Can you hear me?"
"Hello?" he said. "Just a minute, let me get out of this meeting."
Meeting?? Oh God, no. I was calling to be cute and he's in a meeting. And getting out of it to talk to me. And he can't tell it's me. Oh good Lord, this has gone sour in a hurry. I wanted to yell, "NO, No! Don't leave your meeting! I'll talk to you later!" but it was too late....

"Hello?" he said again, in a normal tone.
"Can you hear me," I asked, lamely.
"Yes?" He sounds annoyed, but doesn't know who it is. I haven't actually talked to him in a month, just texted and IMs.
"SC, it's just me," I say. "Blogget."
"Oh, hi," he's not so annoyed, but sounds business-like. "I'm in this meeting...."
"I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to interupt," I say. "I thought you'd be out and just was going to see if you're still so bored...."
"Yeah, well, I'm in this meeting about accreditation. With my Provost and President...."

Oh. Holy Crap.

"I'll call you later, okay?" he says. And we sign off. I looked at my closed phone and said out loud, "That was an effing disaster." I texted an apology later.

He didn't call. I wasn't surprised. Is it wrong to pray that you haven't effed something up? I mean, to literally say, "Lord, please don't let me have effed this up with SC! Don't let me have looked like a complete prat."

And I went to bed kicking myself last night....

I woke up to ice and snow, which distracted me from replaying that stupid conversation in my head. I finally get to my parking space and hear my phone going off. I have a text.

"It's okay," SC texts. "Heated meeting. Lasted into the evening. Didn't get a chance to call you....sorry."

I replied reassurances. Looks like the damage is minimal. Whew! I guess God doesn't mind my phraseology so much, when he knows my heart. And hopefully, I'll remember my Murphy's Law before being impulsive again.... Ugh.

Monday, December 10, 2007

News little and big

First, the regular updates....

South Carolina is at a conference in New Orleans. He wasn't looking forward to going in the first place because he hates Bourbon Street. I've never been there, so I just have to take his word for it that it smells like puke and piss. Nasty. I got a text from him yesterday. "I'm bored to death at this conference," he said. I said something about wishing I was there to pass notes in class....then realized that by texting we were doing the techno equivalent of passing notes!

Aspen is having a hard time. His escape-artist dog got out again (thanks to his ex, who helped daughter feed the animals and let the dog out), and bail is $200. Merry Christmas. He was going to call me Saturday after settling that, but didn't.

I got a spontaneous call from Fella last night. We didn't see each other (again) this weekend, but it's understandable. He had his last basketball game - the district championship. They won. It was two hours from here on icy roads, so I didn't make it. And after that he had to get his oldest son to Denver, to get sworn in for the Army.

Turns out, he was later than expected getting home Saturday night and didn't call to let anyone know. He said his daughter was very worried about him, and cried when he got home. But he said, "I figured they're grownups and I'm not married, so I don't have to check in with anyone. They'll get over it." But I can sure see how she'd be upset, especially since we had a whole load of snow dumped on us Saturday evening.

I also learned what the trouble was last weekend. I was right -- it had to do with son drinking again. Daughter got talked into getting him a bottle, which he got drunk on, then got upset and punched the counter. And broke his hand. Good thing he doesn't ship out until January. Son was depressed and daughter blamed herself, so Fella babysat them both all weekend.

I said something about realizing Fella must be worried about son going into the military. He said, "At this point, I'm just worried it won't happen. I think it might be just what he needs now." He might be right. Daughter told me that it was good to see son motivated about something. Still, how bad does it have to get for a parent to be worried their child won't go into the military, in wartime?

So, Fella called me when he got to Denver last night and had son settled. We'll see how communication goes this week. Looks like I'll be on my own next weekend. My folks are taking the kids snowboarding. We'll see how it pans out, as to who I turn my attention to during my time alone. ::wink::

Now, for the big news.

I, Blogget Jones, am about to be published. ((Happy dance!))

Last year, I did research with a colleague on preferred communication styles and perceptions of online college students. This year, I co-authored an article about the project and the results. I just heard that the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration will soon publish the article. It will also be presented at a major international conference on education and technology in Las Vegas, in March. I don't think I can make the conference, but we'll see.

((More happy dancing!))

Hey, maybe I could convince someone from South Carolina to go, too ;o)

Friday, December 07, 2007

You are here

Hor-gal's blog kicked up my curiosity. She regularly lists the searches that have brought people to her page. So, I decided to check my own sitemeter and see what referrals brought people to my humble little online-abode.

Now, it's not nearly as colorful as Hor-gal's, but had some oddities....

Several of you are arriving here via a search for Bitches Jones Diary. I got a quick peek at this site -- an erotica shop in Denmark. However, the first page scared my computer so bad that the whole browser immediately shut down. This computer is definitely not the "bring it on" system I had at the filtered Internet company.... Anyhow, search for this in Google and you get my blog about the little psycho-bitch that lives in me. I'm sure that's not quite what the searcher was looking for....

A search for Quotes-role model brought someone else here. I'm not sure how...and I certainly fall short of being a quotable role model. Or even just a role model. But Google brought them here for it. Go figure!

Brace yourself for this one. The search was for "Boom Boom" "Happy Group". Yeah, I know. I thought about that, too. Our minds should be washed out with soap. A little research reveals that "Boom Boom: Happy Group" is a track on a Thai aerobics video. Yeah, I know. It's a persistent dirty little thought, isn't it?

(This search brings up my post about the not-so-80s night club that SC and I found. Who'da thunk it?)

How about a search for hard to believe in you letters. I'm really curious about the situation that prompted this search. It brings up a blog of mine called "You'll find this hard to believe...." I'm imagining a too-smart-for-his-own-good kid trying to break the news of his doubts to the Tooth Fairy....or the Easter Bunny....

This one has to be my favorite, though. I guess you just have to be careful what you wish for on the Net. Someone searched for how can you tell when pickles are rotten, and got my post called "Bad pickles just get more rotten over time." That's the latest one about the cheating "fuckwit" who sent me pics of himself having sex in his house, with all kinds of women....and I sent them to his wife, who I've met. Definitely not the helpful kitchen hint they were looking for!

This one I just don't get at all. The search is for like and dislike conversations. I have to wonder what on earth someone is looking for with this search. The search is actually on -- so maybe a foreign language related search? The thing that gets me about this one is a site that comes up for this search. It's " a new way to find people who don't suck." This particular search brings up a conversation thread called, "Tell me what you like or dislike about my monkey." In the side margin, is a link to one called "At what number of sexual partners do you officially become a whore?" I might need to get to know that site a little better....

Apparently, you can also come to me for information on germophobia kissing. The preview description Google gives of the post it finds here is a little scary. It sounds like I was kissing my old germophobic boss. Ewwww.....

I'm also puppy-friendly, it seems. Just turn to me for advice on it is very cold in my house what can i do to keep my Great dane puppy warm. I think (in my best Gump voice) that's all I have to say about that.

I'm actually complimented to be a result of a search for weird writing. I had a post entitled that in September. I love my weirdness....although I do prefer to term "delightfully peculiar."

Last and most definitely not least, is most puzzling. It's not a search on Google, but on a lesser-known search engine called Sawatdee Gay Thailand, for latin gay pics. Thailand again. Let's see... That's "boom boom," "happy group," Sawatdee latin gay searches....WTF is going in in Thailand? And they end up here!

Thanks, Hor-gal....that was an enlightening adventure in site stats!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

All the news that fits....

Or lack of news...depending on how you look at it. Thought I'd just jot down some general updates.

I sent an email to my ex, concerning Christmas for the kids and dropping the little detail that I will be there, close by. That was three days ago. No response. I can hear him seething and his wife bitching about it, all the way from here. If you don't like it, dumbass, then don't make it necessary.

Oh yeah, and he told me what he got my son for Christmas. Apparently, he had a conversation with my son, asking why he doesn't listen to AC/DC. My son told him the truth -- he doesn't like them. Ex, in all his wisdom, said, "That's because you haven't listened to them enough." My son told me he's afraid his dad will get him an AC/DC CD, to make him listen to them more. The boy is smart -- that's exactly what has happened.

Does anyone out there remember A-hole?? My little alter-ego got another email from him, after he's been silent for so long. And guess what? He's claiming now to be even younger than he claimed before! He's apparently 39 now -- 7 years younger than his last claim and 10 years younger than reality. What an ass.

I've been knee-deep in work and my daughter's Science Fair project. They send home this big packet of what's required, when they start working on it. You have to sign it, acknowledging that you'll be helping with this monster. Now, I am not one of those parents who swoops in and does the work for the child. Still, just being the person who glued things to the board, we've had several late nights. I'm exhausted! In the middle of it all, she had her first basketball game. They won! And she scored! I'm a proud Mommy.

South Carolina is having a hard time. His ex's memory loss is profound. Doctors say that's just part of it. Be happy to be alive. I'm sure he expected it to go much better. He's preoccupied with it. He doesn't like how this is altering his life, but he doesn't want to be selfish about it. He's headed to a conference this week and sounds like he'll enjoy the quiet hotel room for a couple of days.

A friend from the conference we attended posted her pictures online. There's several of South Carolina and I, since we were inseparable for those few days. Old BF happened upon them, looking for pics of me since he knew I presented there. "Who's this guy?" he wanted to know. "Looks like he's into you." Uhm, yeah. He is. Get used to it.

Aspen is being attentive. He IMs a "Good Morning!" even if he's too busy to chat. He called me during his lunch break the other day, which was new, and calls most evenings, on his way home. He's very sweet and funny. Now, if we can just find a time to actually go out....

Fella is in full rollercoaster mode. I had that very nice call from him last week, looking forward to going out on the weekend. I heard from him about mid-day Saturday. His voice was strained. "I'll be tied up here all weekend," he said, being very short. I know he has some serious budget concerns right now, with daughter being unemployed.

"Why don't you take a break and let me get you some dinner?" I ventured. We've developed a system where he pays for the movies and I pick up dinner, or vice versa.

"No," he said. "I don't think I can afford to do that."

"Are you all right?"

"No, but it doesn't matter."

"Yes, it does."

He gave a derisive laugh. "No, it really doesn't."

"It does to me. Is it anything you want to talk about?" I knew the answer, but offered anyhow.

"Not really," he said. "I'm sorry to be short and all. It's trouble with my children. It's a bad day, a bad weekend, and I'll have to stay here the whole time."

I let him know that I'm around if he needs anything, tell him I'm sorry it's happening, and he says he'll call. I haven't talked to him again since then. I can guess what probably happened. Most likely, his son was drinking, got in trouble or skipped work or something, and was being suicidal again. The boy needs help. But that's all a guess. When Fella wants to talk about it, he will.

Until then, I have a Science Fair to attend. And basketball games to watch. And Christmas shopping to do. And other people who want my attention. And so I'll give it.